Wine in a box catches a lot of heat. Reputation dictates that wine served from a plastic bladder is little more than concentrated grape juice mixed with toilet-grade alcohol. Fortunately, we’ve evolved oh so much.
Boxed wine has graduated to a viable medium for housing excellent wine. It’s also friendly to our environment and provides opened wine a longer shelf life. Lieb Cellars is proving this to be very true. In fact, they’re doing so in the equally experimental wine country of east New York – far away from the competitive landscape of California.
We caught up with Ami Opisso, General Manager at Lieb, to learn more about NY wines and why the box demands attention:
Those new to wine don’t often include Long Island, NY in regions that are top of mind. Why should they be? Because we’re up and coming…and what wine lover doesn’t want to try wines that are new, hard-to-find, small production and largely “undiscovered”? Need more convincing? Being in a cool, maritime climate, our regional style is moderate alcohol, fruit forward, balanced wines. These wines are great for outdoor sipping and pairing with all types of food (because of our high acid levels).
Wine Enthusiast named us the wine region of the year in 2014, we’re getting a ton of critical acclaim and our winemakers bring experience from all over the world. Plus, Long Island wine country is a magical place. We’re a small, tight-knit community of farmers and artisans surrounded by beaches, vineyards, farms and quaint towns – 80 miles from NYC.
Your sister label, Bridge Lane, produces a White Merlot….in a box. How can we #respectthebox as wine consumers? Box wine often has a negative connotation. Rightfully so considering the vast majority of box wine is cheap, sweet swill. With Bridge Lane, we’re asking you to you #respectthebox by: 1.) Tasting and discovering that the wine we’re putting in our boxes is GOOD, even great! And 2.) Recognizing that, as a package, bag-in-box has a ton of benefits including convenience, freshness (the wines stays fresh for a MONTH after opening) and eco-friendliness.
Describe the ideal experience when drinking a bottle of your 2015 Reserve Pinot Blanc. What should one be listening to, eating, or generally enjoying with this wine? Without hesitation, fresh oysters at a clam bake on the beach. Our Pinot Blanc is bight and citrusy with notes of minerals and sea spray. It’s meant to be enjoyed with fresh, briny shellfish.
What inspires the Lieb brand? Any particular music, art, landscape, etc.? Lieb’s branding is inspired by our tasting room. It’s housed in a modern, rustic barn next to our vineyard on the best farm road on the North Fork. The “L” is an homage to our original logo but it’s been redesigned to reflect our modern, modest sensibilities.
Our wine, our tasting room and our team are not fancy, snobby or traditional. We’re about function over form. We’re about bright, clean, great tasting wines that we love to drink and are proud to share.